Monday, May 30

Jesus Didn't Have TV

I do have a TV.  I bought it earlier this year before we had, what we call in these parts, "Snow Week."  Yes, the entire city was snowed/iced in for a week.  With an almost two year old as my only companion, I wanted to be able to watch the local news and see what was going on.

I got rid of my last TV in 2008.  Purchased this one in 2011.  I am glad I had it for "Snow Week," but I haven't turned it on since.

I don't have cable and, because I live in a valley, I don't get great reception.  The real reason I haven't turned it on is that there isn't anything I want to see.

Most people are shocked and amazed that we don't watch TV.  People ask a lot of questions.  Here are the most frequently asked:

What about your son?

My son has watched TV before and loves to go to his grandparents so he can watch Sesame Street.  Every once in a blue moon my son will see the TV and say, "Turn on TV," which is when I explain to him that we don't watch TV at our house.  He doesn't ask again and continues on with his business.

What do you do with your time?

Admittedly, I spend too much time online, but I limit that to when my son is sleeping.  We read.  We play.  We go on walks.  We spend time outside.  We spend time just hanging out.  We go to bed early.  My son is in bed by eight and I am usually in bed by nine.

Is it hard not having the TV as a babysitter?

I don't know what it is like to have the TV as a babysitter.  I will say that, especially as a single mom, I would love for someone/something else to occupy my son's attention every once in a while, but, thankfully, he is pretty good at entertaining himself.  There are times when I *have* to get things done and my son is super clingy and needy for whatever reason.  I have to stop and give him my full and undivided attention regardless of what *has* to be done.  That is not always an easy thing to do, but worth it both in the short term and long term.

How do you get ready?  How do you make dinner?  How do you get laundry done?  How do you do fill-in-the-blank?

My son just plays in my room while I get a shower and get ready.  When the weather is nice my son plays outside on the patio by himself (gasp!) while I get dinner together.  If the weather is not good he just plays either in the kitchen or in his playroom.  I have a front load washer and dryer and so my son is able to help me with the laundry.  It doesn't matter what I am doing, my son is either participating in it somehow or playing nearby.

Don't you ever want down time?

I need down time every day and I usually get it between the time my son goes to bed and the time that I go to bed.  I love to read and always find time to read before I go to bed.  I love to write both online and in my personal journals.  I have time then to do both.

How do you keep up with what is going on in the world?

Honestly, I am not great at keeping up with what is going on in the world.  I sometimes listen to NPR.  I listen to what folks are talking about in the faculty lounge.  If something major is going on we always pray about it at the start of the school day.  (A blessing of working in a Catholic school.)  I get the email updates from the AJC, our local paper.

I am okay living in our little bubble.  I know this is a source of much controversy, but my philosophy is that it is my responsibility to make my little corner of the world a better place.  I am going to keep doing that regardless of what is happening in the world at large.

Don't you ever want to watch TV?

Yes.  There are times when I would like to just sit and watch TV.  Once a year or so I have to opportunity to watch TV usually at a friend or relatives house.  It is great for a while, but I am always so happy to return to the calm and peacefulness of our home.

What about when your son gets older?

I don't have an answer to that.  We will see how that plays out as he gets older.

On one hand I don't want it to become a part of our lives, but on the other hand, I want him to become a conscious consumer.  I feel that watching TV with him will be important so that he can learn to critically evaluate media.  Of course, that can be done through the Internet and magazines as well.  I just don't have an answer.

I know he will watch TV as he gets older.  He will watch it at his grandparents', at friends' houses.  He will go to movies.  I am not trying to keep TV out of his life completely.

So, what about the title of this post - Jesus Didn't Have TV?

Jesus didn't have TV.  Yes, it was a different time back then.  If he lived in today's world, would he have TV?  Probably.  Yes, he would probably even have his own TV show, but I can't imagine Jesus sitting on the couch just watching.  I can't imagine that he would have the TV on as background noise.  He would be spending time with people.

Spending time with people is what I feel I am called to do to be more like Jesus.  During the day my time is spent with teachers, students and parents.  At night mt time is spent with my son.  Without TV I feel like I have more time, energy and attention to give to people.

*Please know, not watching TV is purely my personal choice.  This post is not to make you feel bad about watching TV or to try to get you to get rid of your TV.  The purpose of this post is to let you know why I have made the decisions I have made in regard to TV.

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